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Evaluation of MnDOT Rural Travel Times During Construction
Minnesota Guidestar
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Rashmi Brewer, P.E.


Project documents

Evaluation of MnDOT Rural Travel Times During Construction

Project description
During the summer 2012, three separate large construction projects occurred on I-35 between Hinckley and Duluth, Minnesota. Through the MnDOT Rural Travel Times During Construction Project, travel times were calculated and posted at seven different sign locations (4 signs northbound and 3 signs southbound) on I-35. MN-23, that runs parallel to I-35, was designated as an alternate route to help reduce congestion on I-35 during peak travel periods.


MnDOT procured the services of a Contractor that collected the data, calculated the travel times, and operated the dissemination mechanism as a stand-alone procurement (outside the contract for performing the construction services) using a Design-Bid-Build contract mechanism and Best Value Procurement.

In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the project and the impact on travelers, an evaluation was conducted focused on both the accuracy of the system and the reactions of travelers via an online survey. The overall goal of the evaluation was to document the project process and lessons learned of the project.




This project assisted MnDOT in assessing the accuracy and reactions of the travelers to the travel times provided within the project.



Lessons learned

There were a number of lessons learned from MnDOT and the Contractor. Following are a few highlights.

  • Best Value method allowed MnDOT to select a qualified Contractor for this specialized system
  • Definitions of terms and added clarity would help to avoid misunderstandings in contract documents
  • Describe the travel time comparison method in the specifications
  • Consider associating deduction amounts with number of days and total project cost, rather than per occurrence
  • This was the first time MnDOT deployed a travel time system along a long (70 miles) rural freeway segment. Plans and Specifications did not previously exist.
  • Input via the public survey was positive, overall